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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 13, 2015 1:00am-3:01am EST

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world. so, thank you. >> thank you very much indeed. and we wrap up now. thank you. >> thank you so much. thank you. thank you. it was announced this week that the second highest ranking official at the secret service is stepping down. coming up on c-span3, a secret service house oversight hearing investigates challenges facing the agency. then a conversation with spelman college president, beverly daniel tatum. and later a look at human rights in cuba. here's some of our featured programs for this presidents' day weekend on the c-span networks. on c-span2's book tv saturday morning at 9, live could have ram of the savannah book festival with fwhon fiction authors and books on topics like the disappearance of michael
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rockefeller, a british company of elephants during world war ii and for you with women spies during the civil war and sunday at 9 p.m. eastern on after words, former senior adviser for president obama, david axelrod, on his 40 years in politics. and on american history tv on c-span3, saturday morning beginning at 8:30 the 100th anniversary of the release of the film "the birth of a nation" starting with an interview with author dick lair, the entire showing of the 1915 film followed boy a live call-in program with civil war historian harry jones and author dick lair. sunday at 8 on the presidency, george washington portraits, focusing on how artists captured the spirit of the first president and what we can learn about them through their paintings. find our complete television schedule at and let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. call us at 202-626-3400. e-mail us at don'ts at or send us a tweet at c-span #comments. join the c-span conversation,
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like us on facebook follow us on twitter. next members of a review panel that are investigating recent security lapses at the secret service testify at a house oversight hearing. the four-person panel was created in response to a number of security failures at the agency. congressman jason chaffetz chairs the committee. # good morning the committee machine oversight and government is chaired to come to order and without objection, the chair can call a recess at any time. pleased to be holding this hearing with ranking member cummings, reforming and restoring the united states secret service is not a partisan issue, a united front with mr. cummings and i have presented --
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presented have driven change within the agency. together, we have center wills attended closed door meetings and briefings with the secret service and asked for change. this morning in a bipartisan way, we went and visited the secret service headquarters and appreciate their accommodations in the tour of the facility. the management facility there. today, the -- the senior leadership of the secret service looks much different than it did when we began examining the agency. in fact, we originally planned to have both the acting director and the deputy director appear before us today on a second panel, but with the recent announcement of the deputy director's departure from the agency, we agreed to postpone the agency's appearance before the committee for another day. we want to thank acting director chancy and secretary jeh johnson for being consistently available to us. they have been very accessible and we are very breischtive of that. we also applaud secretary jeh johnson for assembling a panel which we will hear from today to examine the secret service.
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the panel's report did not minks words did not skirt the issues and provided serious recommendations. according to the panel's findings, the secret service, "is starved for leadership." and lacks a "culture of accountability." the panel recommended the next secret service director appointed by the president come from outside the agency. the panel's report states and i happen to agree that, "at this time in the agency's history, the need for secret service experience is outweighed by what the service needs today. dynamic leadership that can move the service forward in a new era and driven -- and drive change in the organization." the report goes on to say, "only a director from outside the service, removed from organizational tradition and personal relationships will be able to do the honest top to bottom reassessment." dealing with -- what is necessary inside the agency
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alarmingly, the panel found that no one inside the secret service has ever taken time to sit down and figure out what exactly what it costs to protect the president. in fact, the panel found "no one has really looked at how much the mission done right actually costs." this is simply unacceptable. combined with other limitations, like insufficient training, antiquated technology and insular attitude, these factors have all con tributed to the recent security breaches. the fact that the panel made these findings is not surprising. but i will tell you personally it's very refreshing to have a panel take such a deep, serious look into the agency and provide some very candid results and perspective. and you did it in a very swift manner and for that, we are very, very thankful. over the past several years the series of security breaches have raised a number of questions about the effectiveness of the agency. 2011, a man fired a high-powered rifle at the white house while president obama's daughter was inside the residence. the secret service was unable to
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confirm that shots had been fired at the white house until a housekeeper found broken glass four days later. the shooter eluded capture for five days, traveling all the way up to -- all the way to pennsylvania where he was eventually apprehended by state police. on september 19 of last year, with the partially amputated foot and a limp wearing crocs, a man was able to jump the white house fence. contrary to initial reports from the secret service, this man made it all the way into the green room, armed with a 3 1/2-inch knife that was serrated. the same month an armed security contractor was allowed on an elevator with the president, unbeknownst to the secret service and in violation of protocol. we still don't know where the breakdown was that enabled this to happen. last month, the gunman fired shots near the vice president's residence in delaware. security cameras were unable to capture video of the gunman. to this day, we still don't know who fired those the shows. this was very close to active
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secret service agents at the residence. just two weeks ago, a drone crashed into a tree on the white house lawn highlighting a security vulnerability that we must shore up immediately. by examining these security breaches, we can find out what went wrong and we can work together to 2006 it. together with ranking member cummings, this committee has and will continue examine issues surrounding leadership, culture, budget training, technology and protocol. congress needs to know why the secret service has one of the lowest levels of employee morale in all of federal government. we have some of the finest men and women serving in the secret service. these are wonderful, caring, patriotic, hard working, talented people. we love these people. we thank them for their service. but the system and the bureaucracy, the leadership has been failing them and it has to change. we have to get this right. we have to get it right now. the panel made a number of recommendations, put main priority was clear.
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the first step to success within the secret service is new leadership from outside the agency. i look forward to discussing the panel's good work today and hearing how recommendations were developed and now like to recognize the ranking member mr. cummings, for his statement. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i thank you for agreeing to hold today's hearing and for working with us in a bipartisan way. and i also thank you for doing something else, that is, i noticed that you have consistently given our federal employees credit for what they do. every time i speak before a group of federal employees, they say this often, they hear just negative things about them and i know that you've said it in private and now you're saying it in public about the secret service, that we have a phenomenal number of great, dedicated secret service agents and i really appreciate that and i know they do, too. you sought the input from our
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side and our participation and i believe our efforts will be more effective as a result of that but more significantly you have sheep respect for us. we are holding today's hearing because the independent panel has done a thorough review of the secret service and we want to hear directly from them before taking our next steps. to the panel, i want to thank you for what you've done. you've done an outstanding job in a short period of time. they met with more than 170 people from inside and outside the secret service. they made numerous recommendations. and now, the upper managers of the agency have been removed. the chairman i pot strongly agree that the independent panel's work was excellent. we have also discussed the panel's classified report. we believe it was tough it was thorough and crucial to bringing about real change at the agency. again, we thank all the members
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of the panel. you i want to make two key points today. first, i completely agree with the panel that the question of leadership is most important. although previous director has left and top managers have been removed, the job is only half done. as the panel concluded a strong group of new leaders must now be identified. and that responsible rests with the executive branch. second i also agree with the panel that these changes, and i get, "require strong leadership but they will also require resources." that is our job. that's the job of the congress. their report makes clear that the secret service is stretched too thin. the status quo in long shifts, forced overtime, inadequate training and too little rest. i would like to read briefly from the report describing this problem. it says this and i quote "the
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strains are manifest throughout the agency. the service has been forced to pull firearms instructors from its training academy and uniform officers guarding foreign missions to work protective details. the attrition has caused alarm. it's all smoke and mirrors, says a plain clothes agent. we are like a giant sheep teetering on toothpick, waiting to collapse says another. our protective mission is our -- is in crisis." that was from a press report in 2002, more than a decade ago. let me read another quote. "while the threat of terrorism looms large over the white house complex, one of the most insidious threats of our national security actually comes from within, with the creation of the department of homeland security and the fallout from the hurricane katrina disaster the secret service overall has suffered much in terms of budget
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or perhaps more appropriately the lack thereof. we were informed last year that our budget had been cut and that the secret service was going to have to make some changes to cut costs and save money." that quote was from 2007. it was from a letter sent internally to the secret service leadership by a former uniformed division officer and we have obtained a copy. last week, the federal law enforcement officers association wrote the committee saying this, and i quote "a lack of resources and funding is the core reason the agency has suffered its news worthy deficits. its moments of honesty, even media reports have restated what is well known in the service and was highlighted by the protective mission review panel that the secret service has been outstretched and underfunded since 9/11 attacks and continues to be." let me make one last thing clear. i'm not saying we should throw
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money at the problem, that more money is a silver pullet, that inadequate bounding is an excuse for failure or any other similar strawman argument. i agree with the independent panel that the secret service has at throw if i had. it needs more funding and it is our job in congress to get it to them. the panel recommended as a first step adding 200 officers and 85 agents and said many more may be necessary once the new management team assesses the agency needs. we have heard from others inside and outside the secret service that they are down by at least 500 positions. dhs funding -- dhs funding bill would start to restore some of this funding but unfortunately, it is being held up by our republican friends who oppose the president's actions on immigration. we have only two weeks left before the department shuts down. if it happens, the secret service employees will be
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required to continue working without bay. this is no way to treat the secret service agents officers. they should not be collateral damage in this political fight. the fact is that federal workers across the board have been hammered over the past four years. they have sacrificed nearly $140 billion as a result of a three-year bay freeze and pay cuts in the form of increased retirement, con trib pukes for newly hired employees. they have endured sequestration cuts and furloughs and elimination of jobs for the last three years it is time to recognize that these actions take a toll. finally, mr. chairman i would like to take a moment address working on the committee. i completely agree that we must reform this agency. its mission is just too critical. i have the greatest admiration for the president and the last thing i want is for something to happen to him or the other people that the secret service is responsible for protecting so i commit to working with you to the best of my apit and in good
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faith. in return, i ask that we focus aggressively on the reforms that are needed, that we avoid spending valuable time reinvestigating issues that others have already investigated, and that we continue working closely together as we have been to conduct our investigation in a responsible way that does no harm to the agency or the mission. and with that, i yield back. >> thank the gentleman. i will hold the record open for five legislative days for any members who would like to submit a written statement. we will now recognize our panel of witnesses. and first, let me say, thank you so much for your time and dedication in making the effort to -- and coming out -- carving out time in your schedules to be here. we do appreciate that. the honorable -- today we have the hop rabble mark filip, the honorable danielle gray the honorable joseph w. hagin and the honorable thomas perrelli. we do appreciate you being here. pursuant to committee rules, all witnesses will be sworn before
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they testify. so, if you please rise and raise your right hands. do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing you the truth? thank you. let the record reflect that all witnesses answered in the affirmative and you may be seated. um, my understanding is you're going to give one joint statement as opposed to four individual statements. i'm not sure which -- you're going to give it mr. perrelli? okay. thank you. you're now recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman ranking member cummings and members of the committee. i'm tom perrelli, one of the members of the secret service protection mission panel and the panel asked me to make brief opening remarks today. at the outset, we want to express echoing both the chairman and the ranking member our appreciation for their extraordinary work and dedication of the men and women of the secret service. they work long hours in a mission that has no tolerance for error and do so without
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desire for fame or fortune. they deserve all of our thanks and support. the secretary of the department of homeland security asked the panel to do a review of the secret service's protection of the white house following the events of september 19 2014. we did not focus solely on that event but looked more broadly at concerns about thor is chris that had been raised by this committee and others. from october to when we were commissioned to the issuance of our report on december 15th the panel talked to dozens of members of the service from all levels as well as more than 100 experts from the federal protective services, local law enforcement, the national laboratory and the defense and intelligence communities. we thought it was important to hear perspectives about the service, about the protective function, about technology from both inside and outside the service. we also reviewed thousands of pages of documents. our report and recommendations were completed on december 15th. the report contains substantial sensitive information as well as classified information and recommendations. we have had the opportunity to
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brief the chairman and the ranking member and many staff of this and other committees in a classified setting and we will tread carefully on subjects related to operations tactics and particular threats in this setting it is in the interest of the united states that much of the service's work be secret because they are tasked with the singularly important job of protecting the commander in and chief and other protecties in the white house. we did release an unclassified summary that lays out our conclusions and recommendations in a number of areas including training, staffing technology and leadership. that summary is incorporated in our written testimony to this committee. as we described in that executive sum rush the panel concluded that training had fallen below acceptable levels in no small part because personnel at the service were stretched too far. we provide recommendations about increased training as well as increased staffing. we describe our recommendation for 200 additional uniformed division officers and 85 additional specialized agents as a down payment we make now so the service can train and perform at the level that all of us believe is necessary.
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many of our technology recommendations are classified but i note our concern that the service needs to be more engaged with federal partners who are using or developing technologies that would assist the service in protecting the white house. finally, we focussed a great deal of attention as the chairman said, on leadership, including that the service needs dynamic leadership that is unafraid to make change, clearly ar articulates the service's mission, pursues resources needed to fulfill that mission and demonstrates to the work forces that rules will be applied evenhanded labor day the pest of the pest will be promoted to lead the organization into the future. more die tail in our conclusion and recommendations are in our testimony and we would be happy to anticipate questions. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. and again, i appreciate all four of you. now recognize myself for five minutes. the report says, "more resources would help but what we really need is leadership." in fact, you went on to say "only a director from outside, removed from the organizational tradition and personal relationships will be able to do the honest top to bottom
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reassessment this will require." maybe, i don't know who to address this to you yes, mr. filip? >> we gave a lot of attention to leadership and believe that will be a critical issue going forward. we fully respect that the choice of the secret service director is that of the president and there's a unique relationship there and that maybe uniquely amongst appointments in the federal system that individual's responsible for the personal safety of the president and the first family. so, we respect our role in that regard. but can he did and do think that all things equal would be useful to have outside perspectives. the reasons for that i think are even more important than the conclusion. pause they animate a lot of our views on a number of things. we think it's essential for reform that there be a full look at the activities of the secret service through the lens of the core priority of protecting the president and the white house.
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and that the activities and budgeting align with those core activities. we think that the innovation associated with the secret service's activities also be aligned with those core priorities. and that the new director, whoever that is, is prepared to make tough choices about personnel, independent of any sort of old boys network or friendships or align.s. and that was part of the reason we thought, all things equal, easier for an outsider to make those assessments as opposed to someone who is presently with the service. and we also think it's born that there be engagement with the broader intelligence community and a consistent set of disciplinary rules, independent of prior friendships or allegiances or experiences and finally, also, an infusion of outside expertise in budgetary areas, for example, human resources, congressional affairs, things of that sort. so, we thought it was more likely that that person would be an outsider, but obviously, we
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respect that it's the president's choice and to the extent we can be a resource, whoever the next director is, we would proudly be available to try to help them. >> thank you. one of the questions that tends to float around here is whether or not we should separate out the investigation side of -- did you look at that and what sort of assessment did you give that? >> we did. and our views on that are that there's certainly some benefits to be gained from the investigative mission, to some extent. now, there's a continuum in those investigative activities. to the extent, for example, that cyber investigations involve the safety of the first family, of the president, that's probably gonna be part of the core mission of the secret service. to the extent that cyber involves looking at whether a movie studio has been hacked or a health insurance company or a multinational retail-type entity that might be further
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afield in other parts of the federal government that are involved in cyber activities might be better positioned to handle the lead on that. again, all through the core play. of what the main mission of the secret service is. so we had a couple months to look at this we don't purport to have the final answers but we think the guide post on this will be what is the core mission of the secret service and does this particular activity what ever it is, further that mission or distract from it? >> okay. one last thing i want to -- and i know other members want to ask about this, you put up the slide please on the training? you know, one of the things that we are deeply concerned about this is -- these are the training numbers that we see here. if you look from 2008 to 2013, we were doing roughly special agent basic classes, eight per year, eight -- eight, eight eight, eight, then go down to five, then we go down to zero then we go to one. why -- why did that happen? how do we prevent that from
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happening? what is your assessment of that? if you can move that microphone. there you go. >> you know, training was -- we actually -- our analysis really dan with training, you know, as mr. perrelli indicated, we viewed this as sort of key and animate many of the other decision that the secret service has to think about from staffing to management of overtime and the like. as your chart is consistent with what we found in our findings, that training has fallen below acceptable levels. there have been a number of reasons that were advanced to us in the course of our review to explain why that is so from the increased activities of the secret service and missions the number of protected visits that secret service members are staffing and the like, reductions in staffing and the forced overtime issues much regardless of those different causes, i think we all are in agreement that the levels are
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unacceptably locker the number in our report we emphasize looking at 'tis cal year '13 data, the average agent trained about 46 hours in fiscal year 13. the average uniformed division officer trained 25 minutes on average. >> for the year? >> for the year. and so by any account those numbers are unacceptably low and we need to do better. >> compare that against large police forces or other -- >> yeah, you know, we spoke to a number of large metro poll tan police forces and also spoke to other federal agencies that conduct protective nation are akin to what the secret service is doing. nothing about is an exact apples-to-apples comparison, but the training levels that we heard for those agencies ranged anywhere from 5% a year to 25% a year of time spent doing training and that -- that type of training is managed in different ways, you know, some misforces or protective security
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agencies focus training at set times of years others integrate it more naturally, month to month. but, however it's done, the sort of levels that we heard from others range from between 5% to 25% which are obviously significantly higher. >> thank you. i recognize the ranking member, mr. cummings. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. mr. per rely, i want to go back to something that you said and you said that the secret service needs an additional 85 agents and 200 officers and then i said something that i want you to explain. you said as a down payment. what does that mean? >> we -- when we looked at data provided by the secret service and try to assess, with the current workforce, paced on what we can discern what it would take to -- how many additional personnel would they need to get to the training levels that we
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think are the bare necessity, which as we indicated in the report is a true fourth shift or 20 to 25% of training for the president's protective detail and at least 10% of their time training for the uniformed division. paced on the information that we were able to obtain from the service, that led to our recommendation for immediately the need for 200 additional uniformed division uniformed officers and 85 additional special agents. but i think a couple of things that caused the panel to believe once a full analysis is done by new director, more resources are going to be needed. one is as the chairman said, there really hasn't opinion a true analysis of how much it takes to protect the president and other protecties in the white house. the services internal systems are not well designed to do this. mr. hagin and i sat with secret service agents and watched them put in their time in a dos-based
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system with a green blinking cursor and those systems don't reflect the actual hours that people worked. so that once you factor in the excessive amounts of overtime that we think agents both anecdotally told us and we saw ourselves, once you bring -- try to bring some of those overtime numbers down we think that you will discover that more resources are needed. as we said in our report we think that a new director a critical function of a new director is to have a zer row-paced budget, start from the beginning and define the mission and explain to the congress and the executive branch how much it takes to do this. we think it is going to be more money, more agents and more uniformed divisions you also think that a new director might decide to shed or trim certain missions so that it's not all new money. >> we are able to pass the dhs
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budget, it will -- be able to hire the 85 agents and 200 officers. let me ask you, with regard to going back to training. there's a lot of talk about the fourth shift and you know, i want to go back to what the chairman was asking about. you're saying that getting 25 minutes, i hope the committee hears this 25 minutes a year, is that what you said? >> that's for the uniformed division. >> 25 minute of training? and what would be acceptable? >> so the -- we sort of thought about this in two ways so for the ppd, presidential protective division that is where the fourth shift concept originated and so historically particularly in the 1980s and 1990s and our understanding from speaking to past directors and past special agents, that the fourth shift concept was a very real concept in the service and the idea was agents would spend
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you know, two weeks on a daytime shift, two weeks on a night time shift, two weeks on a midnight shift and then two weeks in training. now, that's not to say sort of all 14 of those days in those two weeks are spent training obviously, the agent's time was managed in a way to provide surge capacity if they needed to support unexpected trips or missions, but that this concept of striving for roughly spending about 25% of the year in training for the agents and the ppd was very different. that fourth shift has never really applicable to the uniformed division and it's been difficult to get sort of reliable historical data on this, so we don't actually have a very good benchmark for the uniform division but i think what we do know is that the sort of average that you saw in fiscal year '13 that we fresh to the 25 minutes is unacceptably low. >> one of the things that has me concerned, sure the chairman
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definitely concerns me and i'm wondering how you got into this and what your conclusions what i have been. we have agents who felt more comfort abl comfortable coming to the congress and telling us about their concerns than telling the higher ups at the secret service. and i have said it many times, i think for this for this kind of organization, that's not good. so, what did you-all see as the -- did you find that to be the case? what conclusions did you come to and how do you remedy that? >> i think that goes toward the culture and leadership attitudes of the organization going forward. any row must organization has to be honest with itself and open to the fact that if we are gonna be a continually improving organization, we have to accept and objectively evaluate criticisms about how things are
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operating and so i think you've put your finger on something critically important. i think we all do. and that's something that the agency and its new leadership is gonna have to get much better at, pause no organization's perfect. it is not a weakness to accept the idea that there's problems, face them honestly and objectively and work forward to improve. so you're right that's something important for the new era of the service and for the new director. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. now recognized gentleman from tennessee, mr. duncan for drive minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman and you're sure getting off to a great start chairing this committee and calling all these hearings. let me first of all say that i appreciate this panel and how they've come in from the outside to take a look at this and -- but i do have to tell you that certainly no criticism of each of you you i'm very sceptical some of this and i will tell you why.
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i have been here 26iers. i've served on four different committees. i have read reports from all the coast. every time some federal agency messes up, the first thing they say, they say they are underfunded. and the second thing they say is their technology's out of date. and they have got more money than any company in the private sector and more extensive technology than any company in the private sector yet they always come up with those same excuses. in that time that i've opinion in congress, when i first came here hurricane the national debt was less than $3 trillion. now, it's $18 trillion. the federal budget was not anywhere close to what it is now. all of the federal agencies, all of the federal departments and agencies, if you look at the last two or three or four years, we have been doing a better job holding funding reasonably -- at a level rate. you if you look over the last 20 or 25 years, federal spending
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has done bay up and all the federal law enforcement agencies have greatly expanded over that time and their budgets have done way up. i don't have the figures here. i came here a little unprepared for this hearing pause i didn't know until late yesterday that we were going to have this hearing and that's my fault. but i had the fig kprurs a few years ago that five or six years ago, the bibb had tripled in size over the years they've been there in numbers of personnel and in their budgets. and i just am very sceptical that the secret service doesn't have enough funding. and then secondly i remember i first came here, a hearing on the aviation subcommittee and one of the main things, they talked the low morale of air traffic controllers and that's another thing i have heard a lot of times from federal employees about their low more rail. well i can tell you, it seems to me the less people have to do on their job the more they complain. i almost have never got an
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complaint from a short-order cook at a waffle house. i can tell you that i can tell you if these secret service people have low morale, they don't realize how lucky they have to have these jobs and i've got nothing against anybody in the secret service. i'm sure they are all nice people and fine people you they need to realize they are very lucky to have their jobs. when i first ran for congress, they had an ad signed pie every member 3 or 400 members of the knoxville police department, every single one but seven signed an ad endorsing me. office criminal court judge. i was considered very pro law enforcement. i will tell that you our federal law enforcement people are our highest paid law enforcement people in this country. the lowest paid people are the local law enforcement people thought fighting the real crime daily, day to day that everybody wants to fight. i tell you when i hear about low
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morale in the secret service, i think they ought to be ashamed anybody that feels that way, they lucky to have their job and the high pay that they get. thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> gentleman yields back, now recognize the gentle woman from the district of columbia ms. norton. >> thank you very much. i think we are very fortunate to have the secret service take the risks they pay. and when it comes to their pay shall these are the people who sequester and have not received increases in pay. we value them very highly and value your report, which is very thoughtful. i have been concerned by the way, with the really quite shocking underfunding of the secret service, something i think that would shock the american people pause they already always assume the protection for the american people was the first priority because he is a symbol of the united states itself.
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i was concerned about the physical barriers because that is the most obvious and come mom sense way to approach this problem and i have distrouble is he putted to the members and to you a copy of a picture that was taken outside -- right after -- right after the -- most notorious of the fence jumping incidents. and i'm asking this question because you indicate that there are some physical barriers that have been added. are you talking about these barriers that are normally used simply for crowd control? or are you talking about actual structural physical par zer >> that we recommend adding? >> you say that the -- the -- we understand that there have been some physical barriers that have been added. i'm asking you if there have been any physical barriers added
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since the incident -- since our hearing in september and since the fence jumping that was the basis for that hearing. >> the bike rack that's shown in the photo you distributed is new since the fence jumping incident. >> you know if that's -- by the way, i could -- i consider this quite outrageous. what this says to the public this is a first amendment space lafayette park is right there across from the white house because the framers intended the white house a place people could go this is hardly a barrier. in fact, it's very ugly and there are two pictures here that show what are really quite tell rather -- temporary -- they are not really barriers. they are not used as barriers they are not meant as barriers.
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they are meant to be movable because they are crowd control. is that all that has happened since the fence jumping? >> we have not investigated recently -- >> as far as you know, that's all that's happened? >> we have clearly recommended that a permanent solution be designed and adopted as quickly as possible. >> indeed, i appreciate you have recommended the fence the fence itself, consistent with its historic -- its historic basis be raised. have you put any timeframe on it? of all the things that it seems to me could have happened by this time, it does seem me at least the plans for that could have been made. >> will the gentlewoman -- i will tell you can receive a classified briefing that. i -- mr. cummings and i
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participated in a meeting where the details, the time willing was laid out. and i would -- if any member would like to have that briefing happy to arrange another one. but that was not something this panel looked at other than making a general recommendation but to get a secret service briefing on what they are doing, a, was pretty impressive and b, is certainly in order. >> i appreciate it mr. chairman, i must say i consider it highly classified for the terrorist and other fence jumpers to know that there's going to be a fence that's gonna be raised. i don't consider that very classified information much i want to say, given your report which i think was timely, i am disappointed that the we have no information and i will seek that information. in the bay the chairman suggests. the only disappointment in your
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report was there was no mention, as i recall, the public space and of the tradition that this has been a public space and barriers and security for the president can be improved without, for example, a mag no, ma'am meter in the street that would mean even though you're outdoors tough go through the mag no, ma'am ter before you can get to where the public still with get by the way and why you did not consider the access to the public considering it is one of the great first amendment spaces in the nation's capital. it is not just a tourist site. there are people there every day on every issue trying to express their point of view. >> thank you for the question. and i -- and i do -- i do think it was of consideration to the
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panel about the historic nature of the white house as well as the spaces around the white house. i think perhaps what is most telling is the absence of recommendations from this panel do things like close off the park or those kinds of things that one could consider as appropriate security measures but that would be inconsistent with the history of those spaces. so perhaps i think we answer your question by not having recommendations that would have gone the other way. >> well i so thank you for that, mr. perrelli pause that is what i'm going to cite. i'm going to say that the panel said that by not recommending -- by not recommending, that the public be excluded and meant to -- meant to say that the public should have access to that space as it has always had. >> thank the gentlewoman. now recognize the gentleman from arizona, mr. go czar, for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you, panel, for the report.
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i'm going to quote a couple snippets here, four snippets, kind of make a summary and then ask some questions for that, if that's okay. the first one, the secret service is stretched to and in many ways, cases beyond its limits. special agents and uniformed division personnel protecting the white house work in unsustainable number of hours. second snippet, rather than invest in systems to manage the organization more effectively and accurately predict its need the service simply adds more overtime for existing personnel. third snippet. goes on to say that the secret service needs more agents and officers, even beyond the levels required to allow for in-service training much the president and other protecties cannot receive the best possible protection when agents and officers are deployed for longer and longer hours or fewer and fewer days off. number four. the service has to increase the number of agents and to an even greater extent, increase the size of the uniformed division to ensure protection of the white house. now, i understand the uniformed division officers told the pan that will they do not know
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whether they are working one day to the next or if they are even required to work overtime. the staffing failures within the uniformed division are so bad that the special agents are flown in from field offices around the country to detail them for week-long shifts to the white house, supplementing the uniformed division due to the dramatic losses in staffing it has seen. these arrangements result in special agents unfamiliar with the white house complex being in charge or defending it. so my questions giving that the report found the special agents in the uniformed division officers work an unsustainable and unpredictable number of hours, what must the service do forth manage that workload? >> i think there are a couple of thing, congressman. one, as we talked about, the service really hasn't had the kind of workforce planning model to make sensible personnel decisions about how many people are needed and control the number of hours that people are
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working. the chart the chairman put up earlier showed, you have -- rather than continuing to hire people and having more officers and more agents what ended up happening was you just had the existing workforce work longer and longer hours i think we recommended one, a more robust bork force planning model so they can make good judgments about what is needed and how to deploy those resources. as indicated weny they need more personnel, if nothing else to ensure that the personnel they have get adequate training. so i think those are, i think, core aspects of this. but as you know, one of our larger recommendations is that i think the new leadership needs to take a step back and really define and then come to the executive branch and congress with a clear plan that articulate articulates, this is what it takes to protect the white house and this is why we need the personnel that we think we need. >> and i know you can't go into certain technology. i'm being a businessman, i mean
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technology, we can tract patients going through a system, knowing exactly where they are every time, every point of the day. is that something being entertained as far as the work force for the secret service? >> i think on the technology question,ize think the events of september 19th indicated, there are real shortcomings, both on training and communications technology with respect to the service's current equipment as well as their training on that equipment, that's something we think needs to be addressed and all those things need to be integrated together pause i think you're right congressman that you need to know where your personnel are if you're going to be able to spend to an incident. >> you look overall, your evaluation, you don't have systems to even evaluate how hard was it to come up with the recommendations? you have to look pack and look at your blast in order to be able to go forward. >> i think we wanted to be able
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to provide more specific recommendations in certain air kpras you as i think we laid out in the report, pause the data we were working from on the special agent side it's clear that they do not report all the hours that they work work many more hours that show up in the personnel system and on the uniformed division side, the data really doesn't come from the service's own systems, but comes from federal pay records about overtime, which suspect necessarily -- may not be the most precise way to kind of do planning that's needed. >> one last question, so we have a commander in chief, the head of all our military and stuff. it should be the highest honor to serve in that capacity to protect the president. so, why wouldn't the requirements be the same for that detail for secret service as, like say the navy s.e.a.l.s or the rangers? i mean it should be that protective an aspect, does it not? and the chart that went up there sis disgraceful, see the application not being the type of application. do you agree? >> i think the panel agrees that
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we need the best of the best in this role and that that has been historically the culture and belief of the service and i think we hope our recommendations will help them return to that point. >> yield back. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. we will now recognize the gentlewoman from new jersey, ms. watson coleman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. good morning to you. and thank you so very much for the work that you've done. i did take the opportunity to read the briefing that i had last night and it was quite extensive and a little bit scary. um, for the record, i just want to ask a question. is this a part of the fence that was a compromise? for the life of me i can't see how you scale a fence that is skinny like this and this long. >> the fence in the pack ground of the photo, not the fence in the foreground. it's -- >> i know it's not this. it's -- actually were able to scale this? >> they were able to scale the fence that's in the background
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of the photo. the pike rack what they call bike rack in the foreground was not at that time. >> seems to me interesting they could even scale that. so, are -- are any of the recommendations proposing additional surveillance over these areas that could possibly be points of access to this -- to the white house? >> we feel that they should continue to modernize technology. >> interonpinteroperateapit -- interon ran pillity. >> we believe the technology plays an integral part in this multilayer defense of the facility and that it must be continually upgraded and receive
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a lot of additional focus. >> do -- this is something that i heard in the five weeks they've been here in some briefing. that the -- the were on staff at the time of the fence jumping incident, were -- and i don't know what time of the night that was. can you tell me -- >> early evening. >> early evening? >> yeah. >> the staff was predominantly low seniority? is there something to a staffing pattern that your seniority gives you a better staff shift, and is there an assurance that then or now, that there are people who have more seniority and experience, that are there all the time? >> as i think many on the committee know there was a prior report that focused on september 19th done by the deputy secretary of dhs that focused on the very specific issues of that night. and did find that the personnel
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on staff tended to be junior that evening. and i think this goes back, again, to the staffing and planning issues as well as the force overtime issues that, you know, ensuring that the personnel you have the right chain of command you have the right mix of seniority and junior personnel as well as the right training so that people understand and know the compound is something that, if the service implements some reforms and new systems, they'll be able to ensure in the future to not have that problem on any given night. >> did you look at their organizational staffing requests right now? would they be where they need to be? because you're asking for 85 and 200. does that recognize that their staffing is not complete right now? or is that in addition -- did they have it, and that's in addition to what they have? >> we were heartened to see there was additional sums sought in the president's budget. and we're very supportive of
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getting the service to the 85 and 200. i think others may be able to do the calculation as to whether the precise amounts sought match up with that. but it's our understanding that, you know, the -- some of the additional request is intended to try to reach those levels. >> on the incident on the elevator, was there an explanation how someone of that nature got on the elevator with the president? >> our panel did not look at the elevator incident. it wasn't part of our mandate. >> okay. i'm very supportive and very respectful of the secret service, and i think of it being without parallel. the protection for the president, and other people that is uncompromised and incomparable. these number of incidences have
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been disappointing to me. i want to go on record as saying, i don't think that we're talking about wasteful spending, and i don't think we're talking about asking for something that we don't need. if we're going to look to where we're going to save money we need to make sure that we are applying that to areas that don't have the kind of sensitivity. protecting the president of the united states and those like him, that is the most important thing that we need to be doing as it relates to our secret service. and i for one support the homeland security, and its need for a clean funding bill. and for the secret service to have new leadership and all the things that you've identified that it needs. and i thank you for your report and your work. and i thank you, mr. chairman, for the opportunity to speak. >> thank you. i do appreciate it. we'll now recognize the gentleman from tennessee for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. just to follow up on a question
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that mr. wahlberg had asked, and whoever wants to take this question, feel free. how many new hire training classes do the secret service have for funding each year? >> in general, they have tried to do eight classes per year. funding has been different over different years. but eight classes per year has been a more consistent norm. i think that showed in the early years in the chairman's chart. >> is that what you did in the previous year? you did eight? >> i have to go back and look. i think in '09, '10, '11, and here's the chart so you see special agent classes and uniform division classes, eight was the norm for the special agents, and then for the uniform division you know the numbers range a bit. although something between 10 and 11 would be more the norm. >> okay. thank you. your review found that in 2013,
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the service changed its hiring process, and this resulted in more applicants but a less effective process at identifying strong candidates. in fact more than half the applicants failed the routine polygraph that occurs during screening. do you know who was responsible for this decision? >> we didn't identify a specific individual. i think our focus was -- our concern was on that, that that process took a very long amount of time, only to have many of the candidates drop out. so it took a lot of resources and did not yield enough qualified candidates at the end. that experience as well as a number of other things that we found are one reason why we think the service really needs to professionalize its human resource function and in the hiring and re tension strategies led by experts in that field.
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>> any other downfalls at all that you can identify? okay. what does the secret service plan to do to fix the hiring process to better identify potential candidates? >> so, the service has -- is changing its -- has already changed its hiring process and is using -- our understanding is they're using accepted service authority. and has reordered aspects of its process so that it is less likely to spend a lot of time on candidates that are going to fall out of the process. but again, we think that over the long haul having human resources professionals in charge of that process is going to be more likely to get good outcomes. >> you note that many of the recommendations in the report are not new. these recommendations go back to the 1964 warren commission. some are identified to the 1995 white house security review. and others track internal recommendations. what were those recommendations?
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>> well i think there have been many recommendations, certainly over the years. but there are a number of things that we found in our report that i think have been seen over time. certainly questions about investment in the uniform division and the importance of giving focus to the uniform division, and deciding its role. those issues have been there. certainly issues related to excess overtime have been identified over time. there are a number of issues that we raised in our -- in the classified aspect of our report that are ones that have been noted in the past by the service. >> why do you think that a lot of those recommendations were ignored? >> i think that the service itself has noted that it has not always done what it needed to do in terms of follow-through of its own recommendations. and i think -- our hope is that
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coming out of this report, that there will be a real opportunity to focus on these specific recommendations and real follow-through in tracking to make sure that they actually get implemented. >> so how will future secret service leaders be held accountable for following your recommendations recommendations? >> i certainly think that if there is a real process to -- i'm sure this committee will have a role and other committees will have a role to ask the service what has it done to implement the recommendations, and where is that going. and i also assume that this, and future presidents, will hold them accountable as well. >> the last question then. how do you define that success or how should success be defined if you have implemented these recommendations properly? >> i think from our perspective if we see the kind of cultural change and leadership change
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that we have talked about that really defines the mission, we talked a little bit in the report saying that it's been five years, the budget that the service submits to congress looks more of the same, or about the same with a little bit of extra money on it, that we will not have moved the ball forward. >> thank you so much for your answers. >> just one thing to add to your last question. there never will be a point in time where the secret service can declare success. every day they have to get better. it has to be a continual improvement organization, and people have to have that in their dna. so there's benchmarks or signals that people can look to to say that improvement has been real. but there will never be a point in time given the nature of the mission, and i don't think good leadership would ever think that there is where people can say, we've won. let's take a break. we can take two weeks off. it's going to have to be a continual improving organization, just like any successful football team or military team, that's what it's
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going to take. >> thank you. appreciate it. now recognize the gentle woman from michigan, ms. lawrence, for five minutes. >> thank you. after today's hearing, my desires that there no longer be any legitimate doubt that the secret service needs more resources critical to the mission that you perform and i join with the ranking chair and the chairman of recognizing how important you are in the service that you give. we clearly know that there is areas of concern, and i feel strongly that the option of continuing the way we have in the past does not exist. and it will not be something that will be tolerated. i wanted to give you a quote that i would like to be addressed. the ranking member of the
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committee on homeland security, congressman thompson, and i quote, he stated within the next five years, the secret service will provide protection through two presidential election cycles two democratic national conventions, two republican national conventions, the 75th anniversary of the united nations and other national security special events. to his point, on top of your current responsibilities, of protecting the president and protecting your area of responsibility, and we know that there's some problems with leadership resources. we're also entering a period where there's going to be additional demand. my background is in hr and i know that when you start hiring and training, there is a gap in
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your resources. so we have to be realistic about that. for us to get to where we need to be, we're going to have to pull resources that we already have. do you agree with that? >> i think that's right. one of the concerns that the panel had, and again, pointing to the chart that the chairman put up when you don't bring on new classes that's going to show up because the average secret service agent takes four to five to six years in the field getting trained before they show up on the president's detail. that gap in hiring is going to show up and be most acute in that four to five years down the road. so you're right that an issue with hiring that shows up today you know may not have an immediate effect. but will show up in the future. >> so in our planning, in discussing what the expectations
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are of improvement, giving additional resources, i see with the additional responsibilities coming up that training gap, there is a concern -- additional concern. do you agree with that concern? >> i -- >> and what is the plan to address that concern, if you agree? >> we do agree with that concern. and i think that's why our proposal of, again 200 additional uniformed officers and 85 additional special agents, we thought that that would allow the current work force to reach training levels that we thought were acceptable. it doesn't answer the question of, what is the long-term right size of the organization. and of course, there are, as occurs regularly on four-year


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